The catch is it’s not called Castlevania. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon was created by Art Play Inc.(Koji Igarashi) and Inti Creates to use as a stretch goal for their Kickstarter project Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night.  It is meant to be a prequel to that game, introducing you to the main characters.

At first look Curse of the Moon totally looks like a Castlevania game, which makes sense since Koji Igarashi is the former Castlevania series producer. Igarashi and team thought it would be a cool stretch goal to have a classic 2D version for people to play and enjoy, and obviously the 64,867 Kickstarter backers thought so too! While Ritual of the Night has been delayed until 2019Curse of the Moon should help tide you over until then.

That Familiar Feeling

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon is such an awesome game!  It’s pretty short and can be completed in a few hours if you’re really good. The story ties up nicely at the end and leads right into Ritual of the Night.  If you’ve been playing the Castlevania series since 1989 on the original NES than this game will feel very familiar.  The controls and gameplay are so on-point with the game in the Castlevania series that it’s hard to believe Curse of the Moon isn’t an an official part of it.

Difficulty Choices

When you first start Curse of the Moon it shows a choice of modes. For the first play through normal is the default. Unlock the other two options if you really want a challenge.  Then you get to choose your game style. You can choose Veteran which is true retro style challenge. So it is going to be tricky! Casual style is more of an easy going challenge; it gives unlimited lives and no fly-back when you get hit by an enemy.  The no fly-back in particular is a nice touch, as it was the most evil part in past Castlevania titles.

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon Zangetsu

Meet Simon Belmont… I mean Zangetsu!

Vampire hunter, demon hunter kind of similar, right? In Curse of the Moon you take on the role of Zangetsu. He has a real beef with demons because they gave him the Moon Curse. Seems like a good enough reason to kick some demon butt!

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon level mapCurse of the Moon features maps that show you where you are headed next just like in the original Castlevania games. In these levels there’s a variety of enemies, from rats to your usual ghouls, but also rock golems and huge level bosses that take up the whole screen for you to face.  As you beat these bosses you will also unlock new characters that will help you navigate difficult terrain and defeat enemies. Each character has different abilities and swapped in at any moment.

The Cast of Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon

Zangetsu plays like Simon Belmont and can use his sword and for a secondary weapon he can have the chain, magic or daggers.  Miriam you unlock after defeating the first level boss can jump really high, slide and her weapons are Gebel who is a vampire and can turn into a bat for his secondary which really helps to get up to high places and over large gaps and Alfred an old wizard who attacks with his want and uses magic as his secondary weapon. If you make a mistake you can always use the actual curse of the moon to turn back time and redo a section of level.

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon Miriam

Massive, Beautiful Level Bosses

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon features so many cool and original bosses in each of the levels. Figuring out which of the four characters would work best with all of their different styles was challenging.  The enemies looked beautiful in all of their colorful 8 bit glory.  Especially for people who love retro Nintendo games. They will totally love the retro look to this game. Once you beat the main game you unlock harder difficulty modes. So there is definitely a lot of replay value here!

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon dragon boss

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon is a must buy for anyone who loves platformers, retro games, Castlevania or a challenge! If you missed the Kickstarter you can grab it on Steam for only $9.99 ($12.49 if you are in Canada like me) which is an amazing deal.  You can’t buy one of the original Castlevania games for this cheap. So there is no excuse not to try this one out!

About the Author

Alana Dunitz

A huge game fan since the late 80's when she got her first Nintendo System. She has been amassing a huge assortment of NES, SNES, and japanese import games with the Famicom, Super Famicom. When she's not gaming she is playing with her kids, writing about gaming or creating video game themed artwork. Be sure to follow on Twitter and Instagram!

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